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Lack of sugar molecule raises chance of diabetes onset

Scientists in the US have made a breakthrough in identifying an evolutionary gene mutation that has resulted in an inability to produce a sugar molecule, Sialic acids, which leads to some people being more vulnerable to developing diabetes . The lack of the sugar molecule could be a factor in the onset of type 2 diabetes, especially if the patient is also overweight .
The research, carried out at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, is the first proper evidence to link a sialic acid to insulin and glucose metabolism problems associated with diabetes.
Jane J. Kim, corresponding author on the study, commented “Given the global epidemic of obesity and diabetes, we think that these findings suggest that evolutionary changes may have influenced our metabolism and perhaps increased our risk of the disease.”
It is known that type 2 diabetes is results from both genetic and environmental factors, including a fatty diet and lack of exercise, which lead to progressively dysfunctional pancreatic beta cells, high levels of blood sugar because of insulin resistance and more problems regarding health.
The researcher argue that the results of the study, published in the FASEB Journal, help refine our knowledge of why people who are obese appear to be particularly vulnerable to type 2 diabetes.

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